It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, And what the Lord doth require of thee: Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. (Micah )
Justice, Justice shall you pursue. (Deut )
Since its beginnings in the early 19th century, Reform Judaism has placed more emphasis on the ethical laws of the Tanakh governing actions between one human being and another than with those governing actions between a human being and God. And while Reform Judaism has come to better appreciate the ritual laws between humans and God over the last 60 years, when compared to other branches of Judaism, its emphasis continues to be on social justice.
Since it was founded in 1961, the RAC (the Religious Action Center) of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) has been a leader in the struggle for social justice. Much of the language of the 1964 Civil Rights Law and the 1965 Voting Rights Act was drafted in the RAC's conference room at 2027 Massachusetts Avenue by Jewish, African-American, and other civil rights leaders. Its efforts to improve the lives of the most downtrodden among us continue today, and individual congregations, large and small, are part of those efforts. Please follow the link to learn more about both the RACs activities, as well as those of the congregations that are members of the URJ South District.
We hope that every congregation has a Social Action Chair. If you are the Social Action chair of your congregation, we would love to hear about your congregations activities as well. If you are new to your position, Mazel Tov! Follow the link to find ideas that have worked in congregations similar to yours that may well work in your community, as well.
Reform Judaism has since its inception subscribed to the concept of a messianic age - Micahs In the end of days it shall come to pass - an age that can be best achieved by humans cooperating with God to produce a better world. Please follow the link to find ways for you and your congregation to participate in this effort - tikkun olam - the repairing of the world.
Co-Chair: Stan Adelman, Temple B'nai Israel - Amarillo, TX Co-Chair: Sharon Silver, Congregation of Reform Judaism - Orlando, FL